WRT350N_med I would like everyone to welcome a new additional to my networking family a Linksys WRT350 Wireless-N Gigabit Router with Storage Link, (the other more important addition to my family happens April 21st.  ;-)). 

After getting some new laptops for work, I realized that my existing router would not handle the gigaspeed that my new adapters wanted to drive.  I did a little research and talked to my buddy Keith Combs and his great suggestion of get a gigabit router with wireless really narrowed the field down quite a bit.

So I settled on the WRT350, for a couple of reasons, it is a Linksys, which is the same as my cable modem and it was replacing my other Linksys which is still serviceable, just not gigabit.  :-)  The second reason is that it offered this concept call Storage Link more on that in my next post.  Lastly, it looked geeky with the new style antenna.  :-).  Happy with my purchase and with the router safely buckled in the passenger seat I headed home.

Now the fun begins.  My gut told me, just set it up like you did the other router, plug in and go to the admin page and you should be fine.  Then the other part of my brain said try their neat little easy advisor utility provided by Linksys.  At this point I should mention that everything of the box, tape of the router, and flyers inside the box told me to use the CD first, so I felt strongly compelled.  :-)  I decided to be silly and try the utility and away I went.  Now the real fun begins, the utility did a nice job of stepping through the removal of my old router and saving the settings.  The next part then had me place the new router in place and it copied the configuration over very.  I was happy at this point it all seemed to work out, the settings transferred, the router got the new name, my systems all connected to the router and is was happily blinking away.  With a confident smile, that yet again I was a networking genius,  I went to open IE, and much to my horror...page not found. 

First step, check cables (just like my article), then the next step check router configuration.  Did my router get an IP from my provider, nope.  When I opened the status, all I saw was pretty little zeroes, in the IP, MASK, DNS...etc.  So found the source of the problem, so click on the renew...nothing.  Power the router off...nothing.  Call the cable provider, and after just a few minutes figured out had to get my bridging tables reset on the cable modem and the configuration reset, which in short means power off cable modem.  BTW, I am happy to report I also had to get them to release the IP and set the new device for me, so I did have to call.  With brand new IP in hand, open IE....page not found.  Now what?  After chatting with my cable provider for several minutes they were able to connect and work with my modem, so it was the router holding up the connection, solution call Linksys.  I should have been suspicious, considering the cable support tech, had the number off the top of his head.  :-|

Now the real, real fun begins, call Linksys hold for about 15 minutes and I get to a support tech.  Describe to him my scenario, including how I was setup before and what I have done prior to calling.  I tried to sound like I knew what I was doing and he surprised me when he asked one simple question:

"Sir, do you have the easy link advisor currently running?"  Confidently I reply, why yes I did. 

His reply, and I swear I could hear him sigh: "Sir, please right click the icon in the system tray and choose exit", shocked I shut down the application.

Then we went to the next step, reset the router, the tech told me we were going to configure the router by hand, and sometimes the application messes the NAT tables up.  So after a pen reset on the back of the router (and thankfully he did not have me check the cabling), we step through the router configuration, get the router reconfigured and I open IE again.  YES, you got it...page not found...again.  We step through some other tracing from the router, to make sure the router could talk to the net.  Sure enough the trace tests, and pings from the router worked great. 

So where are we?

The cable modem works, router can touch the net, but my pc's plugged into the router cannot access the net. 

After about 1 hour on the phone with the tech, we decided it was a faulty router and he gave me a RA reference number to take the device back to the store to get another one.  We hung up and with my head hung low and feeling bummed I started reaching for the box...

But with gritty determination, I decided I was not ready to give up yet.  So I started going through all the configuration pages just making sure, I did not make a typo.  When I get to a screen that offers a reset to factory defaults button.  Based on the early conversation that wizard may mess up the configuration, I thought what the heck, I will give it a try.  During the call we had only done a reset on the back.  I Click, the button and watched the router reset, blinking lights went away then came back, checked to make the router go an IP, then I opened IE:

SUCCESS!!!

It worked and I am a networking genius again.  :-)  Now as I publish this post, all I need is for the ISV to give me a faster speed to the net and I will be totally happy, of course my buddy Keith is: And you thought I was kidding about a 100Mbs fibre connection to my house

Moral of the story: go with your gut.

Happy surfing!